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Amid factional fights, Moily tells Rahul to take charge

Note of thanks: Congress president Rahul Gandhi greeting his supporters in his constituency, Wayanad, on Friday.

Note of thanks: Congress president Rahul Gandhi greeting his supporters in his constituency, Wayanad, on Friday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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It is important to protect the unity and integrity of the party, says veteran leader.

Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Friday appealed to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to firmly take over the reins of the party once again to avoid ‘confusion and crisis’ in the party.

“It is important to protect the unity and integrity of the party and as the Congress president, it is his duty to ensure this,” Mr. Moily told The Hindu over phone from Bengaluru.

He said if Mr. Gandhi is determined to step down, then he himself should find a replacement.

The veteran Congress leader’s assertions come in the backdrop of open factional fights in States like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and desertions in Telangana and Maharashtra.

“When the leadership does not act, all these things will happen. The Congress president needs to quell such indiscipline with an iron hand,” Mr. Moily added.

The Congress seems to be in a state of confusion and uncertainty ever since Mr. Gandhi told the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on May 25 that he would step down as party chief and his position was ‘non-negotiable.’

In the past two weeks, there has been a churn in the party: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his Deputy and State Congress chief Sachin Pilot indulged in a blame game for the Lok Sabha washout, an internal meeting of Congress leaders in Haryana saw ugly exchanges and in Punjab, Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh stripped his rival, Navjot Singh Sidhu, of an important portfolio.

To add to its woes, on Thursday, not only 12 elected Congress MLAs formally joined the TRS but a video clip of Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Janata Dal (Secular) leader and Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, went viral.

In the video, Mr. Nikhil could be heard telling his party workers to prepare for mid-term polls in the State as the Congress-JD(S) coalition government would not last its term.

Though the Congress central leadership has asked State units to submit written reports on the causes of the poll debacle, Mr. Gandhi is yet to send a clear signal whether or not he would be on the saddle.

Apart from meeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, the Congress chief has refused to meet party leaders including Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Insiders now say they are keenly watching if Mr. Gandhi sends out any firm political signal during his two-day Kerala trip that started on Friday.

“If Mr. Gandhi thinks he can get away from allegations of dynastic politics by resigning, it won’t work. The Gandhi family is a unifying factor and others can’t easily fill that void,” said Sriprakash Singh, professor in the department of the politics, Delhi University.

“The only way forward is for Mr. Gandhi to continue in his post or he himself appoint an executive working president. This way, the new leader will have acceptability,” added Prof. Singh.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:41:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/take-over-reins-again-veerappa-moily-asks-rahul-gandhi/article27689719.ece

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